Business Digest - January, 2012

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The Full-Nest Syndrome   Here's to You!   Green Living Tip   Theo's Corner

Get an Insurance Checkup

Just as your body needs a checkup once a year, you should consider giving your insurance the once over occasionally as well. People's lives can change very rapidly. But one thing many of us forget is to adjust our insurance coverage along with these changes. If it has been several years since you've sat down and reviewed your insurance coverage, now is the perfect time.

Start with your life insurance. If the number of dependents you have has increased due to a new birth or a marriage, you will need to consider both the amount of life insurance you have, and who is named as beneficiary. If your children have grown, you may find that you no longer need the same type of insurance that you had before. If you are approaching retirement or are already retired, consider sitting down with an insurance professional to determine whether you have the right coverage for you-you may find that the type of insurance you have is no longer necessary.

Next, take a look at your auto insurance. You probably obtained collision insurance when you bought your new car. It makes sense to carry this type of insurance on newer models of cars. But as your car ages, this type of insurance may no longer be necessary. The value of a car decreases as time goes by. To gauge whether this type of insurance makes sense, compare the value of the car, and the cost of repairing it, to the cost of the collision insurance premiums. The most cost effective solution may be to assume the risk of repairing your car yourself.

While evaluating your renter's or homeowner's insurance, be sure to consider whether you have added any items of monetary significance to your home in the past few years. If you have purchased expensive jewelry, furs, or other big-ticket items, you may need to add some insurance coverage for these items.

Make it a habit to review your insurance coverage whenever a policy comes up for renewal. You will save yourself from being underinsured in certain situations and will save money by eliminating unnecessary coverage in others.

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The Full-Nest Syndrome

Anyone reaching middle-age can end up facing a double burden--the cost and time of raising young children and the care of aging parents. The squeeze many feel comes from being part of the so-called "sandwich generation," those who are working and caring for those family members at both ends of the generational spectrum. These caretakers may also find that they have adult children living at home. There is a continuing increase in the number of 25- to 34-year-olds living at home with their parents. All together, with this type of multigenerational living, this "full-nest" can present various challenges.

Living in one household with three generations can be a successful living arrangement, as long as issues are addressed and properly resolved. It is helpful to have regular family meetings to discuss conflicts or disagreements, rather than letting them simmer until they blow up. Communication and cooperation is vital to this type of living situation.

These types of families are especially prone to having the bulk of the day-to-day work falling to just one or two people. Having a plan for everyone to contribute to the functioning of the household is essential, and those who are inclined to carry the bulk of the load need to find ways to delegate some of that work to others who are able. Remember that you can't help others when you are tired or overworked. The primary caregiver in the family needs regular breaks and support. This can mean accepting help whenever it is offered, as well as taking time for yourself. It is also helpful to have a list of extended family members or friends who you can count on during those times when you feel overwhelmed or depressed.

Setting household rules is also helpful. Everyone will appreciate knowing what is acceptable and what is expected, without having to be asked each time. Remember that your family is an asset and everyone has special gifts that they can contribute. By working together as a team, your "full-nest" will succeed and encourage each member of the family.

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Here's to You!

You never know when you may be called upon to give a toast! Be prepared next time you raise your glass. These toasts from Ireland are perfect for lending humor and wit to any special occasion....

May the grass grow long on the road to hell for want of use.

May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent.

May misfortune follow you the rest of your life, but never catch up.

A toast to your coffin. May it be made of 100-year-old oak, and may we plant the tree together, tomorrow.

As you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

May you never lie, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in each other's arms. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink with all of us because we love you.

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

May the Lord keep you in His hand, and never close His fist too tight.

May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door.

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, quick to make friends. But rich or poor, quick or slow, may you know nothing but happiness, from this day forward.

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

When we drink, we get drunk.
When we get drunk, we fall asleep.
When we fall asleep, we commit no sin.
When we commit no sin, we go to heaven.
So, let's all get drunk, and go to heaven!

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn't turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we'll know them by their limping.

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Green Living Tip

Instead of harsh chemicals, use vinegar in your home for several different cleaning applications. Vinegar can be used to clean out the deposits in a coffeemaker or steam iron. You can also use it to clean and sanitize your washing machine. Simply run your empty washer through a regular cycle, using vinegar rather than detergent.

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Theo's Corner


New Year's Resolutions for Your Pet

It's that time of year-time to make New Year's resolutions. This year, consider some resolutions for your pet. Here are some ideas for a healthier and happier year for both of you.

  • Switch to healthy snacks and keep snacks to less than ten percent of daily calorie intake. 

  • Keep your pet at a healthy weight with a nutritious diet and adequate access to exercise and play.

  • Resolve to take your pet to the veterinarian at least once a year for an evaluation.

  • Spend quality time with your animal companion through outdoor exercise and indoor play.

 Next Month:  How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

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Last modified: January 19, 2012